As an atheist, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. While it is true that Halloween is technically a Christian holiday, like most other Christian holidays it was of course stolen from the pagans and has been secularized by the capitalistic and materialistic system to deliver profits. And since sex sells, Halloween has become quite the sexually charged holiday.
But what is Halloween really about? Like most other Christian holidays stolen from pagans, Halloween once had a secular seasonal aspect which has been anthropomorphized with myths and superstitions. It is basically an autumn harvest holiday mixed in with the realization that winter in coming. The main aspect of the holiday is a celebration of the “veil” between life and death. As autumn comes to an end and winter begins, it looks very much like the world is dying. In other words, Halloween celebrates the veil between the two seasons and there is nothing magical or superstitious about that.
Death plays an important role in this holiday and while I think fundamentalist Christians should love this holiday since they seem to be so obsessed with the death of Jesus and his zombie resurrection, many are surprisingly not a fan of this particular holiday. Some fundamentalists even go as far as calling Halloween, “Satan’s Holiday” and a new fundamentalist movement called “Jesusween” is attempting to hijack the holiday... again. It is easy to identify and stay clear of these fundamentalist Christians on Halloween; they are the ones yelling “bah humbug” and turning out their lights when kids come walking by for candy.
As an atheist, I don’t believe that the dead will walk on Halloween night nor do I believe dressing up in scary costumes will frighten off the evil spirits wandering around. But I do think that wearing sexually explicit costumes will ward off the evil fundamentalist Christians. The irony of this holiday is that Christianity has demonized sexuality and now there is a Christian holiday where people dress up as sexy demons.
Another great aspect of this holiday is that it tends to encourage creativity. People are always thinking of new costumes and new ideas for scaring their friends and neighbors in the spirit of Halloween. It’s all in good fun and it is exciting to see what new costumes people are going to dress up as this year and to see who on the block has the scariest decorations.
A lot of people don’t realize that Halloween also fosters community. People get to take their kids to visit their neighbors. In today’s internet society, a lot of people haven’t even met their neighbors and so this type of activity helps to break the ice and meet those who live right down the block.
Halloween is great for kids too. They get to dress up as their favorite superheros, movie characters, or use their creativity to come up with something different. They also get to use their creativity on carving pumpkins.
These are some of the many reasons why Halloween is an awesome holiday. Don’t forget to dress up in some fun, sexy, creative, and/or scary costumes and to eat lots of candy. And remember that the really scary people are the ones without costumes sitting in their homes on Halloween with their lights out.
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